Electric Vehicles: Good For Your Budget, Good For Our Air

When people think of an electric vehicle (EVs), most of us still think of a futuristic and expensive piece of machinery. But you don’t have to break the bank to save the environment; EV’s are becoming increasingly affordable.

The price of EVs is coming down quickly. Earlier this year, GM and Tesla both offered “every day EVs” that have lower upfront costs and longer ranges. And even though electric vehicles may cost more up front, they’re still cheaper in the long run.

Transportation is the second highest expense for most US families, averaging more than $700 per month – or $8,500 per car, per year. Oregon drivers may be able to cut that budget by leasing an EV for less than $200 per month! Driving on electricity is like paying only about $1 per gallon of gasoline. That means driving electric could save Oregon families hundreds of dollars each year.

Then there’s the maintenance costs – or should we say lack thereof. EV’s have very little maintenance and low fuel costs, providing real savings to families. Utilities may further this benefit by installing charging stations at apartment buildings and creating more public-use fast charging stations. So along with saying goodbye to the expensive gas bill, out goes the need for oil changes and emissions checks at the DEQ.
For those who want to buy new, a $7,500 federal tax credit makes the purchase easier. And used EV’s are becoming increasingly affordable too: used 2-3 year-old Nissan Leafs are available in Oregon for $10,000 or less.

A clean electricity future is here! Check out these resources to assist your EV purchase:



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5 Replies to "Electric Vehicles: Good For Your Budget, Good For Our Air"

  • Paul Johnson
    October 19, 2016 (7:28 pm)

    I have been driving a LEAF for over 6 months. Operating cost is very low. The only real hassle is the time to charge. A typical charge cycle takes about 3 hours to bring up to 80% for so called long life mode. This makes the LEAF impractical for trips over 60 miles if your task takes less than 3 hours because you will be waiting for the charge to complete before you can go assuming you can find an available charger and it is in working order. If your thinking is quick charge you may be disappointed to discover there aren’t very many around. They are more expensive and more than one quick charge a day is not recommended. This inherently limits annual mileage to about 6000. Therefore, time warranties are far more important than distance (mileage). Another caveat is that accessory use (heat, AC..) reduces your range.

    • Patrick C
      November 11, 2016 (5:02 pm)

      Paul, if you want a vehicle for long range trips then you need to buy one with more range than a 2012 Leaf and you need to buy one that has a fast charge port so you can fill up in 20-30 minutes instead of 3 hours. We have driven from Portland to Seattle on the West Coast Electric Highway in our Leaf, it worked great. We charged in Castle Rock and Centralia

  • Betsy Parry
    October 20, 2016 (8:18 pm)

    I’ve heard snippets in the news saying we have not been taking into account the environmental damage from the manufacturing and overseas transport of these batteries. And perhaps environmental justice issues connected to the battery manufacture. I suppose that would apply to hybrid as well as 100% electric vehicles. I’d like to hear how respected environmental groups such as OEC weigh out those issues. Wasn’t even mentioned here.

    • Patrick C
      November 11, 2016 (5:10 pm)

      Betsy, You are correct, the battery manufacturing issue needs to be addressed. It was not mentioned here, but there are other places that have looked into this. Here is one:

      In short, the fueling of a vehicle dominates its lifetime CO2 impact. An EV has a slightly bigger footprint the day it rolls off the manufacturing line, but two years later they are even and every year after that they are lower. This is similar to solar panels. Their production has some footprint that has to be “paid-off” before they are a net benefit.

      Additionally, the nice thing about batteries is that they don’t go out the tailpipe as smoke. When they are worn out, they can be recycled into new better batteries.

  • Glen Nickerson
    November 14, 2016 (2:10 pm)

    Can it be that 100% electric vehicles are the lowest carbon footprint vehicles? Due to the fact that there are so many more support systems (radiator cooling, fluids, lubrication filters, air filters, exhaust handling systems, and more) I would think that petroleum-based vehicles, either 100% ICE, or hybrid petrol/electric, would be much more consuming of materials and fluids, i.e. more real waste. I have seen where used batteries from EVs are being re-purposed to serve as home energy storage units, and not discarded.